Money & Power

Fashion Designer Josie Natori, Wilcon Founder William Belo Lead 6 Newcomers to Forbes' 2018 Philippines Rich List

This year saw the most number of new entries and exits in the exclusive list since 2013.

Business magazine Forbes’ latest list of the Philippines’ 50 richest people features six new names. That’s the highest number of newcomers since 2013, when the list was expanded from 40 tycoons to 50.

Leading the six newcomers is William Belo, the founder and chairman emeritus of home improvement retail chain Wilcon Depot. He ranks 22nd in the list with a net worth of $600 million, beating out several rich list veterans such as Lopez Holdings Chairman Emeritus Oscar Lopez and DoubleDragon head Edgar “Injap” Sia II.

Starting out as a 60-square-meter hardware store in Quezon Avenue, Belo has grown Wilcon Depot to over 40 stores nationwide. It went public in March 2017, with its share price going up 122 percent since then.

More: Wilcon: From a 60-sqm Store to PH's Biggest Home Improvement Chain

Other newcomers who made the list include Necisto Sytengco, chairman of chemicals manufacturer SBS Philippines, who ranks 41st with a net worth of $180 million. Designer Josie Natori, the Filipino head of US-based fashion firm The Natori Company, also debuts in the list at 45th with a net worth of $150 million.

A seventh “newcomer” is Isidro Consunji as he takes the spot of his father, DMCI Holdings founder David Consunji, after his death last September. Isidro is worth $2.45 billion (including the wealth of his siblings), making him the 12th richest person in the Philippines.

Among the tycoons that the newcomers replaced is Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., the founder of listed high-end retailer SSI Group. Its share price dropped 54 percent year-on-year, but it recovered slightly after announcing that it has acquired the Philippine franchise of Shake Shack last July.

More: SSI Group to Open First Shake Shack in Southeast Asia in Manila

The list also saw massive changes among the tycoons returning from last year’s list. The biggest is real estate tycoon and former senator Manuel Villar, whose net worth more than tripled to $5 billion this year, making him the biggest gainer and the country’s second richest person. On the other end is JG Summit Holdings founder and third richest individual John Gokongwei Jr., whose net worth fell by $1.1 billion this year, the biggest drop among the returning tycoons.

Forbes calculated the net worth of the country’s richest tycoons by compiling stock prices as of August 24 as well as other personal and company financial data. For the full story on the 2018 Philippine rich list, click here.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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